Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Israeli tanks shell a U.N. school, 40 killed
The NBC correspondent in the region said the school was clearly marked with the U.N. logo. From the Independent UK:

Two tank shells exploded outside the school, residents said, spraying shrapnel on people inside and outside the building, where hundreds of Palestinians had sought refuge from fighting between Israeli soldiers and Hamas militants.

Reuters journalists filmed bodies scattered on the ground amid pools of blood and torn shoes and clothes. A donkey also lay on the ground in its own blood.

In addition to the dead, several dozen people were wounded, the hospital officials said.

The Israeli military said it was looking into the reports.

Shells landed near a second school in the region also. The U.N. has lodged a protest:

The United Nations said one Israeli air attack struck an elementary school in Gaza City where hundreds of Palestinians had taken shelter, killing three men.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency said Asma Elementary school was clearly marked as a U.N. installation. It said over 400 people had been given shelter at the school when it was hit Monday night.

"Well before the current fighting, UNRWA had given to the Israeli authorities the GPS (global positioning system) co-ordinates of all its installations in Gaza, including Asma Elementary School," the agency said in a news release.

"UNRWA is strongly protesting these killings to the Israeli authorities and is calling for an immediate and impartial investigation," it added.

The residents of Gaza, some 1.5 million people, are now almost completely encircled, by the Israeli military, and by the sea. And many in the small strip of land abutting Egypt are asking, where are the Arab leaders?



Meanwhile ITN reports from the Israeli side of the border, where people are mourning three soldiers killed by friendly fire:



Meanwhile, Tony Blair continues to be nearly irrelevant and utterly useless, mouthing Bush-like platitudes and keeping busy with his "Mideast envoy" duties, as the humanitarian crisis gets so serious, even the Israeli's have stopped denying it.

TWN has, as usual, something smart to say:
I agree with Zbigniew Brzezinski that the worsening tragedy in Gaza is part of the blur we have been seeing for some time. I put a lot of the blame on Labor Party Leader and Defense Minister Ehud Barak who has been itching to manage a war.

But as Brzezinski said, the Israelis and Palestinians have proven unable to rise to a level of strategic, forward-looking maturity to solve this problem and others now need to stabilize the situation, engage in a credible peace negotiation process that involves the other major Arab stakeholders, the US and Europe.

Having the Saudis, Jordanians, Egyptians, Americans, and Europeans impose a solution can't be worse than what we are seeing today.



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